After Harry Potter and Twilight, there’s Hunger Games. Like the other Hollywood sagas, Hunger Games is based on the bestselling children’s literature by Suzanne Collins. Now turned into an epic film, Hunger Games opened Friday on more than 10,000 screens across the nation, already grossing $214.3 million globally, marking it as the third-highest film opening of all time.
But will Hunger Games become the biggest hit for Lionsgate in history? Buzz around the film was helped along by social media. The extensive marketing campaign by the production company was aimed vastly at social media outlets like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, iPhone games, and live streaming, to name a few.
In total, according to the New York Times, Lionsgate invested more than $45 million in marketing surrounding the launch of the film. The startup thismoment.com played an important role in the success story as well. Lionsgate used thismoment’s social infrastructure for all their social media marketing needs.
Thismoment’s content management software allows brands to collect video, photo, and text content from users directly through YouTube, Facebook, and brand site pages, and offers full moderation and workflow controls to manage submission data.
Lionsgate and thismoment.com launched a series of social media promotions staring June 2011 on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social networking sites to raise curiosity around Hunger Games. The marketing campaign included engaging video content about the characters and the stories behind the Hunger Games film, active participation by fans on Facebook Pages, and user video submissions about how much they love the movie.
Marketers have also created several ways to engage with the public, including 13 Facebook pages such as MTV and MTV’s Facebook Fan Page to represent each district in the film. Facebook stories are a powerful way for brands to build awareness and engagement around new initiatives.
A Twitter account has been created for the Capitol district, referring to the central city of the film story. Hunger Games became a buzz worthy word with about a million posts on Twitter in just the last month, according to the real-time monitoring site Topsy.
“For Hunger Games this wasn’t a viral lucky strike – it wasn’t a fluke. They started their social program way back in summer 2011. Lionsgate adopted an ongoing continuous process for improvement based upon user data from their social channels. This is part of a trend where smart marketers are adopting a new approach, one that leverages dynamic customer input instead of the old style of phased, programmatic marketing campaigns,” says Vince Broady, CEO of thismoment.
Today social networks play an important role in decision-making processes and the strong brand positioning across consumer-centric sites. Activities in social networks are becoming a must-have for all companies looking for ways to increase its awareness, the strength of their brand and user retention.
Companies often spend millions to promote their products, but social media sites and social content marketing tools make it easier for companies to create buzz, exciting fans around their products. Tools from Thismoment and others are paving the way for enterprises like Intel, Coke, Dell, Verizon, Canon and others to adopt a fully social marketing infrastructure to target, market, plan and execute their business goals and consumer directives, from research to engagement.